Cambridgeshire County Council begins work on £18.3m ‘civic hub’ at Alconbury Weald for up to 600 staff

PUBLISHED: 16:26 16 December 2019 | UPDATED: 16:26 16 December 2019

From left to right: Cllrs Josh Schumann and Steve Count, Tim Leathes from Urban and Civic, Chairman Cllr Mac McGuire and Rob Carter from R G Carters at the event to mark the first spade in the ground on site on Monday 16 December.

From left to right: Cllrs Josh Schumann and Steve Count, Tim Leathes from Urban and Civic, Chairman Cllr Mac McGuire and Rob Carter from R G Carters at the event to mark the first spade in the ground on site on Monday 16 December.

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Work has begun on the £18.3m new headquarters for Cambridgeshire County Council at Alconbury Weald.

Work has begun on the £18.3m new headquarters for Cambridgeshire County Council at Alconbury Weald.

Council leader Steve Count described the building - that will house around 600 full and part time staff - as aiming to improve "access to the heart of the council".

He said: "The building is being constructed with as little impact as possible on our carbon footprint.

" It is designed both for how we work now, and how we will work in the future, and around the needs of those who work in it and who will visit it. "

The 3600sqm HQ, set in four acres of former brownfield land will accommodate 350 desks along with flexible breakout areas and a multi-purpose function room for council meetings.

The car park includes more than 20 spaces with electric car charging points, and below ground infrastructure ready to link up all spaces to electric charging points in the future.

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Solar panels are being fitted to the roof to provide a renewable energy source.

The council says a big saving will come in maintenance costs - the Shire Hall, Cambridge, bill of £1.3am annually is expected to drop to £500,000.

The project management, design and construction have been contracted to local businesses Faithful +Gould and R G Carter - with Allford Hall Monoghan Morris (AHMM) the building's architects.

Cllr Josh Schumann, chairman of the commercial and investment committee, said: "I am thrilled that so far we are smashing our own target of spending at least 70 per cent of the budget with local firms - and that even after we have covered the full cost of this new civic hub, we will still be able to re-invest a minimum of £45m into essential frontline services."

The council is planning a café in the HQ to be run as a social enterprise, helping to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

And 95 per cent of the first £6.6 million of orders placed by R G Carter for the project so far have gone to businesses based less than 50 miles from the site.

Director Rob Carter said: "Over the upcoming months, using our local supply chain, we will deliver this high quality and innovative home for the county council that embodies their sustainable vision".

The council says the lease of the six acre Shire Hall site in central Cambridge will release in excess of £45m for front line services over the next 30 years, even after the costs of the new HQ are covered.


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